Vermiculture With the Worm Factory 360

One of the science projects I’ve managed to get myself into is vermiculture. Using a Worm Factory 360 in my heated garage, my worms manufacture compost throughout the winter for my spring starts.   It has nothing to do with wanting to recycle, for environmental reasons.   Rather, I simply do it to have enough compost / mulch in the house to for starts in the spring.   Like I said, an experiment. After a little bit of research, I decided that the Worm Factory 360, a rotating set of Read More …

Worms inside your House? A review of UAF Cooperative Extension’s “Composting with Worms”

Want to see my worms? This was a common question I’d ask guests visiting my apartment as a vermicompost enthusiast. I was introduced to composting with worms as a young adult living in Chicago, and jumped at the opportunity to make this type of compost a staple of my urban life. I loved that it was an affordable, effective, and relatively effortless way to create nutrients for soil. And the bin fit under my bed. My vermicompost bin lasted a year and a half. When I moved to Alaska, the Read More …

Heating it up: Compost Heated Greenhouses

Most Alaskan gardeners are creative out of necessity. With a growing season made up of unique light patterns, temperature fluctuations and abbreviated season lengths, gardeners learn to adapt. Gardeners who want to continue growing into the winter months have additional challenges. There is a great deal of information available about season extenders – nothing compares to fresh greens even in the dead of winter. Those who want to harvest their own fresh produce year-round often turn to greenhouses as a solution. However, heating in greenhouses can be a significant expense Read More …

Friendly Composting Redworms

Lesson Objective — Students will learn what redworms utilized for vermiculture eat and the conditions necessary for their survival. Subject Area — Life Science Grade Level — Grade 6 through 12 Alaska Science Standard SC2.3 Season to be Best Complete Lesson — This lesson can be done anytime during the school year redworms are available. Time to Complete Lesson — It will take about 30 minutes to complete the lesson. Materials Needed The instrucor will need a Redworm compost box that been operative for several months. Paper Plates Damp Paper Read More …

School-wide composting; why isn’t it happening!?

“You can solve a lot of the world’s problems if you do school right.’   (unknown author) As a principal, I get a bird’s eye view of the many moving parts associated with operating a school. From instructional programs and curriculum, to facility and food service management (and everything else in-between; PTA’s, personnel, standards, assessment, discipline, athletics/clubs, scheduling, special education, purchasing, staff & student travel, professional development, etc., etc.); they all interact to produce your local educational system. More importantly though, is what that “system’ outputs; that is, the quality Read More …

Worm composting for dummies

The average American tosses about 25% of food and beverages purchased according to a report by the National Resources Defense Council. While this can be cut down by better food planning, recipe selection, and food storage, throwing food in the garbage is sometimes unavoidable. Instead of putting  all of my cauliflower stocks, egg shells, and coffee grounds in the plastic garbage bag I decided to try composting instead. Its the 4th R, reduce, reuse, recycle, and ROT. I limited my choices to homemade aerobic compost or worm compost. Here is Read More …